Rubin Kazan v Chelsea: Match Preview
Europa League: Chelsea strong favourites to progress as they take a two-goal lead to Russia
Chelsea faces a trip to Kazan to take on Rubin Kazan in the final leg of the Europa League quarter finals tonight and are favourites to book themselves a place in the last four.
Benitez’s side go into the match with a 3-1 aggregate lead as well as on the back of a resilient 2-1 win over Di Canio’s Sunderland squad at the Bridge.
Also flying high, Fernando Torres comes into the match with a brace fresh in his mind from the previous leg and will be looking to add to his tally come Thursday.
Complacency will be a key factor in the second leg, as the Blues have a healthy lead over the Russian side, and Rafael Benitez will know that he must guard his squad from that danger.
Kazan will begin the second leg with an away goal spurring them on and will know that a turnaround is far from impossible against Chelsea.
The west London club is facing a potential dilemma at left-back with both Ashley Cole and Ryan Betrand unfit to travel with the squad.
Injuries to the two players may see Paulo Ferreira deputising for the first time since February.
David Luiz is also likely to be rested after playing in three in less than a week so John Terry will likely be put in his place.
The Blues’ defence this season has been inconsistent at best and Kazan will come out swinging. Don’t be surprised to witness quite the open football match, as Rubin will certainly be aware that they must score at least two goals to progress to the next stage.
Chelsea will be buoyed by the fact that the club have won all five of their games against Russians sides but Rubin are no pushovers at home having only lost three of their last 22 European fixtures at home.
If the Russians can manage a two-goal victory and a clean sheet they will advance in the competition and stun the Chelsea players, supporters, and staff alike.
John Terry and the Chelsea defence will know they have their work cut out for them in the second leg of the Europa League, and Kazan looks to be quite the test.
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